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St. Charles Herald-Guide's High School Playmakers

Jonathan Menard -   Sep 20, 2007

Porter makes smooth transition to starting linebacker at DHS

Starting at linebacker for Destrehan wasn't even on Rufus Porter's radar two years ago.

In fact, the junior began his football career as a defensive lineman in middle school and was moved to wide receiver his freshman year of high school. It wasn't long before the coaches noticed that, while Porter may be a nice addition to the offense, his future lay on the defensive side of the ball.

That gamble was only reinforced last week when Porter helped lead the Wildcats to a 35-14 victory over Terrebonne by recording nine tackles, three assist, and two tackles for loss.

And while the senior had a big night, he is only concerned with one thing, how his team performs week in and week out.

"I love how we are playing so far this year," Porter said. "Our defense has been playing good, and of course our offense is always doing their thing."

While Porter may have gotten a relatively late start in football, he wouldn't have played at all if it wasn't for his father, who first got him interested in the sport.

"My dad was pretty much the whole inspiration for me," Porter said. "I looked up to him forever really."

Right after strapping on the pads, Porter began to shine in middle school, and his size and speed made him an ideal candidate to play receiver when he first entered Destrehan.

Though he enjoyed the position, he welcomed his eventual switch to linebacker last season.

"The move from receiver to linebacker was crazy because I was used to running routes so I wasn't really that strong," Porter said. "It did give me a little edge in practice playing against the offense and now I just love it. I love the hitting and the contact and I think I have gotten a lot better."

Porter saw plenty of action last season but wasn't a full-time starter until this year.

And the way he has played so far this season might help him reach one of his personal goals.

"I want to be on Pelican Prep as a defensive player from Destrehan," Porter said. "They have been looking at the offense for a while, but to be on that would be pretty good."

As for team goals, there is only one.

"I want a championship," Porter said. "We are just trying to get that ring."

Washington becoming explosive weapon for the Hahnville Tigers

Ivory Washington is becoming a big-time playmaker for the Hahnville Tigers.

Just last week, Washington fielded a punt and flew through the Helen Cox defenders on his way to a 64-yard touchdown. Not only did Washington reinvigorate his team on that play, but he also came through with several clutch catches along with some big stops in the secondary. That's not surprising when it's taken into account that the senior has played almost every position possible out on the field.

"I've played quarterback, running back, and receiver," Washington said. "I've played everything and I just love everything about football."

Football is something that runs in Washington's family, and thanks to his older brothers, Washington began playing the sport when he was 11-years old. Since then, he has improved in every aspect of the sport and one area in particular.

"I've improved physically," he said. "I used to feel a little bump or bruise and try to sit myself out, but I realized that pain is weakness leaving the body."

Though Washington started at running back last year, he has mostly lined up at receiver this season. That move has paid off, and Washington now enjoys the feeling he gets when he lines up across from a cornerback.

"I like that I'm one on one with my defender," he said. "I feel like they can't stop me."

Stopping Washington has proven to be a big problem for the opposition. If he keeps up this pace, he should have no trouble reaching the goals he laid out at the beginning of the season.

"I wanted to stay healthy, be a team player, and be a team leader," he said. "I am accomplishing those so far this year."

And his success has helped his team stay undefeated this season. Washington is confident that this squad has the ability to be something special by the time the last game is played.

"All we have to do is keep working at it and keep getting better every game," Washington said. "We need to work hard in practice and everyone just needs to stay together and we will get the job done. If we do that we're going to end the regular season 10-0."

Playmakers is is compiled and written by Herald-Guide Editor Jonathan Menard. Send email to

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